Head straight to one of Frankenmuth’s main draws: Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Stock up on ornaments at this festive behemoth, which bills itself as the world’s largest holiday shop.
For lunch, try a pizza and one of the quality brews at Frankenmuth Brewing Company, where big windows and a nice patio overlook the Cass River.
Continue your shopping at Frankenmuth River Place Shops. Dozens of unique shops and fun eateries, plus an arcade, populate a beautifully landscaped, Bavarian-theme outdoor complex.
Work up an appetite for an evening feast at Zehnder’s, where a million customers a year come for the all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinners. The spread—chicken soup, cabbage salad, cranberry relish, cottage cheese and apple butter—is right out of a grandma's cookbook.
Spend the night at the Marv Herzog Hotel, where sparkling riverview lodging teems with the polka master’s memorabilia.
Take a self-guided tour or sit quietly in a pew at postcard-pretty 1880 Gothic St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, built by German settlers. Across the street, visitors can see a replica of the original log cabin church and two German-cast bells brought to Frankenmuth in 1845. A German worship service is held the second Sunday of each month.
Head about 18 miles northwest to Saginaw to finish your trip at the Castle Museum of Saginaw County, where cleverly crafted exhibits show how an 1898 French-style castle that once housed a post office can become an amazing place to learn area history. The $1 adult admission is the best deal around. Guided tours cost $2 and must be arranged in advance.
See Midwest Living's reviews of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, Frankenmuth Brewing Company, Frankenmuth River Place Shops, Zehnder’s Restaurant, Marv Herzog Hotel, St. Lorenz Lutheran Church and Castle Museum of Saginaw County.
For more information: Frankenmuth Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 386-8696; frankenmuth.org